Chandrayaan-2 not end of story: Sivan

Indian Space Research Organisation's (ISRO) chief K. Sivan (PTI Photo)

Underlining that Chandrayaan-2 was not the end of the story, Indian Space Research Organisation (Isro) chief K Sivan on Saturday said that the space agency was planning to make another effort “to demonstrate” a successful soft landing of a space module on the surface of the moon “in near future”.

“Let me assure that Isro will pull all its experience, knowledge and technical prowess to set things right and demonstrate soft landing in near future. Chandrayaan-2 is not the end of story,” he said while delivering the convocation address here at the Indian Institute of Technology-Delhi (IIT-D).

The Isro chief, however, did not share the finer details about the space agency's plan.

The Chandrayaan-2, India's second mission to moon, was launched on July 22 but the lunar expedition suffered a snag later while attempting a historic landing on the uncharted South Pole of the Moon.

The Isro's plan to soft-land the Chandrayaan-2's Vikram module on the lunar surface did not go as expected with the lander losing communication with ground stations during its final 2.1-km descent.

While the lander Vikram and rover Pragyan were rendered non-functional after a hard-landing on the lunar surface on September 7, the Orbiter continues to revolve around the moon.

“On the technology part– yes, we could not achieve soft landing, but all the systems functioned until 300 m from the Moon’s surface. Very valuable data is available (from the Orbiter) to set things right,” Sivan said.

Sharing some of the future plans of the space agency, the Isro chief said that a large number of advance satellite launches were in the pipeline for the coming months.

“Our plans on Aditya L1 solar mission, human spaceflight programme are on track. SSLV will make its maiden flight sometime in December/ January. Testing of 200 ton semi-cryo engine is expected to begin shortly. Work is on to provide NAVIC signals on mobile phones, which will open the path to develop large number of applications for societal needs,” he added.

Earlier, the IIT-D and the Isro signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to jointly set up a Isro Space Technology Cell at the premier technical institute.

As per the MoU, the cell at the IIT-D will work towards undertaking focused research projects in the space technology domain “with specific deliverables.”

The IIT-D would also serve as an academic partner of the Isro in a range of research areas including that of artificial intelligence and nanotechnology.

“With this collaboration IIT Delhi would like to be part of some of the key initiatives by the Isro. We would like to work with ISRO closely,” IIT-D director V Ramgopal Rao said

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